LCBO Vintages Classics Collection
The story of Vilmart begins in 1872, when Desire Vilmart founded a small Champagne company in the hamlet of Rilly in the Montagne de Reims. Five generations later, under the direction of Laurent Champs, Vilmart is arguably the best of the “grower” Champagnes: sparkling wine crafted from grapes grown, harvested and vinified by vignerons on small vineyard parcels.
Vilmart, like champagne house Krug, believes that fermentation and élevage in oak is the most effective means of developing a full spectrum of aroma, taste and texture. Celebrated importer and writer Terry Thiese raves about this house: “It’s clear to me Vilmart is a Champagne house of unassailable consequence, a must-have for anyone interested in the possibilities of this most suavely powerful and graceful of all wines. Casks are hardly the point anymore. Organic viticulture, (truly!) low yields, remarkable polish of fruit, and the deliberate patient pursuit of perfection makes Laurent Champs’ estate a gemstone gleaming among the chalk.”
“Laurent Champs crafts impeccable, elegant Champagnes of the highest level. The Vilmart Champagnes are so delicious when they are released I doubt too many are purchased for cellaring, but the reality is that the wines also age exceptionally well.”
Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, December 2013
A blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 vintages. An audacious and elegant champagne, aged for 10 months in oak casks prior to secondary fermentation.
“An explosion of flavor, with ripe nectarine, lemon curd, clover honey, jasmine and grilled nut notes set on a firm, fine china-like frame. Lithe and elegant, this is like raw silk on the palate. The vibrant, mouthwatering finish echoes exotic spice, chalk and floral details. Disgorged May 2014. Best from 2017 through 2025.”
94 points, Wine Spectator, Sept 2015
“Vilmart’s NV Brut Grand Cellier is pure class. A slight hint of oak frames the stone fruit, brioche, spice, smoke and floral notes. Creamy, open-knit and inviting, the Grand Cellier is super-expressive today. There is no better Champagne with which to discover the wines of Vilmart, one of Champagne’s reference-point houses. The current release is 50% 2013, 25% 2012 and 25% 2011. Dosage is 9 grams per liter. Disgorged: October 2015.”
91 points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Dec 2016
“This blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir is vinified entirely in the larger size oak barrels known as foudres, and it’s typically a blend of three vintages. Rich in texture yet elegantly carried, and it ages with remarkable grace.”
90 points, Decanter, Aug 2015